Skip to main content

Listen

Read

Watch

Schedules

Programs

Events

Give

Account

Donation Heart Ribbon

Bill Takes Aim At Drug Overdose Deaths In California

As the death toll from drug overdoses continues to rise, a bill in the California Assembly would require the state to take steps to address the problem.

— California doesn't have a state plan to curb the epidemic of prescription drug overdose deaths. A bill just introduced in the state legislature would change that.

The measure, submitted by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), asks lawmakers to convene a statewide task force on drug overdoses and develop recommendations to address the problem.

The bill also creates a $500,000 grant program to encourage communities to set up overdose prevention efforts.

The Drug Policy Alliance is a major supporter of the measure. There is no known opposition.

Peter Davidsonof the division of global health at UC San Diego's medical school said prescription drug overdoses are a major threat.

"Let me put it this way: it's now the single-largest cause of accidental death in the United States. More people die from this than motor vehicle accidents," Davidson explained.

In 2010, more than 4,000 Californians died from a drug overdose, including 228 San Diegans. Prescription painkillers were the biggest culprit.

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.